By Josh Brown
Troy Daily News
BRANDT — Last week, the Bethel football team was one yard shy of a win.
Friday night, the Bees got over the hump.
Quarterback Mason Brown threw for one touchdown and ran for two more, including a 40-yarder in the fourth quarter that gave the Bees a 19-18 lead. From there, the defense was able to hold on as Bethel (1-2, 1-1 Cross County Conference) claimed a hard-fought one-point victory Friday over Tri-County North.
“It feels great,” said first-year Bethel coach Steve Ferrell, who got his first win with the team. “I love these kids already. They do not quit on you, that’s for sure. We’ve still got some learning to do, but the kids played real hard last night.”
Bethel trailed 18-13 at halftime, with the Panthers (0-3, 0-1 CCC) doing all of their scoring before the break. Mason Brown scored on a 5-yard touchdown run and threw a 54-yard touchdown pass to Will Reittinger to help the Bees keep pace before halftime — and before a lightning delay caused even more downtime.
The Bethel defense shut the Panthers out in the second half, though, and in the fourth, Brown got free for a 40-yard score to give the Bees the lead.
“We came out and made some good adjustments at halftime,” Ferrell said. “We shut them out in the second half and got our running game going. Our offensive line did much better.”
Brown finished with 89 yards and two scores on 17 carries and Evan Rogers added 65 yards on 14 carries. Brown was also 7 for 14 passing for 94 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions, with Reittinger grabbing three passes for 66 yards and a score.
Bethel travels to Twin Valley South in Week 4.
“It’s always nice to get that first win, to get that monkey off our back,” Ferrell said. “I think we’ll be competitive this year like we have been in our last two games. We’ve just got to focus on getting better every week.”
TIPP CITY — A school record and the first win of the year made Friday’s home opener a big game for Tippecanoe, as Ben Sauls kicked a pair of record-setting field goals to help seal a 20-7 Miami Valley League crossover victory over Fairborn.
“I’ll tell you what, it feels great,” first-year Tippecanoe coach Matt Burgbacher said after getting his first win with the team. “We got that off of our back and can move on now. This was the most complete game we’ve played so far, but we’ve still got a very long way to go.
“I’ve enjoyed our response. We started off 0-2. Some other teams would have packed it in, but our kids came in this week and worked their tails off.”
And the two heroes of the game — Sauls and Cade Beam, who scored both of the Red Devils’ touchdowns on the night — left their previous game against Springfield Shawnee with injuries.
“Those guys did what they’re supposed to do, rehabbing from Saturday to Friday,” Burgbacher said. “You’ve got to give our medical staff credit for getting those guys ready to play tonight. The kids, they battled tonight.”
Beam, who finished with 57 yards on 17 carries, scored a pair of 2-yard touchdowns runs in the first half to put Tippecanoe up 14-0. Fairborn scored to cut the lead in half with :58 left in the first half, but Sauls booted a school-record 49-yard field goal on the final play of the second quarter to give the Devils a 17-7 halftime lead. Sauls then added a 55-yarder, breaking his own record, to make it a 13-point game in the third quarter, and the defense put it away from there.
“They had the momentum after scoring in the second quarter, but our kids didn’t give in to that,” Burgbacher said. “We kick that field goal to go up 17-7 and made it a two-score game. That was a big play. And then in the third quarter, on the first play after a lightning delay, he kicked a 55-yarder to make it a two-touchdown game.”
Tippecanoe (1-2, 1-0 MVL Miami) hosts Troy to open MVL Miami Division play in Week 4.
WEST MILTON — After a pair of routs, Milton-Union showed it could also win a close game against a quality opponent Friday night, holding off Northwestern 27-21 in a battle between unbeaten teams at Memorial Stadium.
“It feels really good,” Milton-Union coach Bret Pearce said of being 3-0. “Northwestern is a good team. They’re big where you want to be big and fast where you want to be fast, and I was proud of the guys for fighting for the whole 48 minutes.”
Milton-Union took an early lead as A.J. Lovin caught a 44-yard touchdown pass from Nathan Brumbaugh to make the score 6-0, but Northwestern scored back-to-back touchdowns to go up 14-6. With three minutes left in the half, Brumbaugh scored on a 1-yard run, with the two-point conversion tying the score at 14-14 — and on the final play of the half, Lovin returned a punt 80 yards for a touchdown to put the Bulldogs up 21-14 at halftime.
“We stopped the with 12 seconds left in the half, they punted to A.J. and he did some of his magic,” Pearce said of the punt return. “We had lots of guys help him along the way, too, and he ran it back as time expired. That play gave us a big boost heading into the locker room.”
Nathan Brumbaugh then hit Blake Brumbaugh for a 30-yard score in the third to make it 27-14, but the Warriors answered with a score with roughly 8:00 remaining in the game to make it a one-possession game.
The Bulldogs made sure that one possession was theirs.
“They scored with about eight minutes left, and we didn’t give them the ball back,” Pearce said. I was proud of our offensive line. We ground out that last eight minutes and took a knee on about their 10-yard line. We converted two fourth downs on that drive, and that’s on the O-line and the backs running hard.”
Milton-Union hosts 3-0 Northridge in Week 4 to open Southwestern Buckeye League Buckeye Division play.
Troy Christian 22
TROY — Before the lightning delay, Troy Christian was in control.
But unbeaten Northridge rallied late, scoring the go-ahead touchdown with :31 left in the game as the Eagles fell to 0-3 with a 28-22 loss at home Friday night.
“We had a tough night,” Troy Christian coach Jeff Weaver said. “We ended up hurting ourselves by making little mistakes, and a good team like Northridge is going to make you pay for that. But that’s what happens when you’re young.”
Nathan Waltz caught a pair of short touchdown passes from Ethan Twiss to give Troy Christian a 16-0 lead, and the score was 16-6 when the game was delayed by lightning. Waltz then broke a 20-yard touchdown run to make the score 22-14 Eagles after three quarters — but the Polar Bears (3-0) scored a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns, including one on fourth-and-goal from the 8 in the game’s final minute to take the lead.
“We started off rolling, and Jason Blake had a monster game,” Weaver said. “Nathan is a playmaker, too, and when both guys are running like they were, it’s hard to stop. And I don’t think the delay hurt us, either. It was hot, we were tired and it helped us get our wind back. But they came out with tempo and have good athletes, we came out misaligned and made some crucial mistakes and they ripped off several big runs. On fourth-and-8, we just couldn’t stop them.
“This was a tough loss, but hopefully it will be a learning experience for us. All of those mistakes we made, we can fix those things. We’ve gotten better since Week 1 — we’re just not there yet. We’ve just got to learn to get over the hump.”
Troy Christian travels to Lucas in Week 4.
Fort Loramie 34,
Miami East 0
CASSTOWN — Miami East’s youth and inexperience showed Friday night in a 34-0 loss to defending Cross County Conference champion Fort Loramie at home.
The Redskins (2-1, 1-0 CCC) took a 14-0 lead after the first quarter and quickly turned that into a 34-0 lead at halftime. Lightning delayed the start of the second half, though, and the rest of the game was called off.
Miami East (1-2, 0-1 CCC) travels to Tri-County North in Week 4.
BRADFORD — Bradford fell to 0-3 on the season Friday night, falling in its Cross County Conference opener 55-0 to visiting Arcanum.
Bradford (0-3, 0-1 CCC) travels to Ansonia in Week 4.
Contact Troy Daily News Sports Editor Josh Brown at email@example.com, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.
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